Washington state’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee warned there was “just 59 days” to save future generations from “an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next.”
Inslee went on a lengthy Twitter rant in efforts to convince the state legislature to pass legislation to tax carbon dioxide emissions. Washington residents voted down Inslee’s last carbon tax plan by a wide margin in 2016.
We have just 59 days to do our part to save our children from an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next. To save salmon from dying in ever warming rivers, and our forests from being reduced to plumes of ash.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) January 9, 2018
The state legislature’s session ends in 59 days, on March 8. Democrats have a slim majority in both state legislative chambers.
Inslee wants lawmakers to pass a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.
Inslee’s plan would tax carbon dioxide emissions at $20 a ton in 2019, that would gradually rise at 3.5 percent above inflation each following year. Inslee’s office estimates it will raise $3.3 billion over the next four years.
About $950 million would go toward education programs. The rest would go toward green energy programs and research, water infrastructure, wildfire mitigation. Some money would offset taxes or go to poor families.
The plan could raise household electricity prices five percent, and gas prices by about 10 percent, according to official estimates.
Inslee’s first carbon tax plan failed in 2016 after liberal groups couldn’t agree how to spend the revenues it was expected to raise. Inslee also proposed a cap-and-trade program, that both Democrats and Republicans rejected in 2015.
If Inslee’s carbon tax plan passes, the legislation would have no measurable impact on projected future global warming. Indeed, even if the U.S. as a whole stopped emitting, the impact would be extremely small, based on government climate models.